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[CESCM]

French organization founded in Poitiers in 1953. The Centre d’études supérieures de civilisation médiévale (CECSM) is affiliated with the Université de Poitiers, the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), and the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication. The founders, among them historian Edmond-René Labande and art historian René Crozet, began CESCM as a month-long interdisciplinary study of medieval civilization, inviting foreign students to participate. CESCM has since developed into a permanent organization but maintains the international and interdisciplinary focus of its founders.

CESCM continues to hold its formative summer session, known as ‘Les Semaines d’études médiévales’, and invites advanced graduate students of all nationalities. The summer session spans two weeks and includes sessions on a variety of topics, each conducted by a member or affiliate of CESCM. CESCM supports collaborative research groups and regularly holds colloquia attended by the international scholarly community.

Since 1958 CECSM has published ...

Article

Quitterie Cazes

(b Territoire de Belfort, Oct 2, 1917; d Toulouse, Dec 26, 2006).

French art historian. He was born into a modest family in the Belfort region and encouraged by his teacher to pursue studies that would lead him to take the teacher recruitment exams for history and geography. In preparing for the geography degree, by confusing rooms in the Sorbonne, he accidentally discovered the courses of Henri(-Joseph) Focillon, which would determine his profession of art historian. Appointed to the high school in Perpignan in 1945, he discovered the Roman art of the Roussillon region, to which he devoted the first works that brought him to the attention of the academic community. However, it was the Gothic art of the kingdom of Mallorca that was the subject of his thesis, published in 1962, the year of his nomination to the chair of the university of Toulouse, where he taught until 1979. Durliat challenged systemization and was open to all disciplines. His impressive bibliography of more than 400 books and articles demonstrates an unrelenting activity and above all a rigorous methodology. As an historian, he analysed source manuscripts in order to anchor artistic achievements in an era, ‘enraciner dans une vie, une société, un langage, une foi, qui sont une histoire’ (to root them in a life, a society, a language, a faith, which make up a history), and he always proceeded with a clear historiography, based on the assumption that new study always fits into a time period and in relation to what exists. As an architectural historian, the analysis of monuments caused him to realize the length of time necessary for the construction of each building, and the function that determines in part its form. However, it is in the domain of Romanesque sculpture that his oeuvre is immense, notably with ...

Article

Herbert Kessler

(b Jerusalem, Dec 14, 1926; d Jerusalem, June 29, 2008).

Israeli art historian of Jewish art. Educated first at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he moved to London and earned an MA in art history at the Courtauld Institute (1959) and a PhD at the Warburg Institute (1962). Returning to Jerusalem, Narkiss rose steadily through the ranks from 1963 when he began teaching at the Hebrew University and, in 1984, was appointed Nicolas Landau Professor of Art History. He also held fellowships and visiting positions at: Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies in Washington, DC (1969–70); the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (1979–80); the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University (1983), Brown University in Providence, RI (1984–5); the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris (1987–8); the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in Washington, DC (Samuel H. Kress Professor ...

Article

Charles T. Little

(b Paris, 1931; d May 1, 2009).

French art historian of medieval art. As Professor of the University of Paris IV (Paris-Sorbonne) from 1981 until 1998, she was a leading specialist in French architecture and stained glass. She was president of the French section of Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi from 1980 to 1988. Studying at the Ecole du Louvre, she wrote initially on the sculpture of Reims, followed by a study on Notre-Dame-en-Vaux at Châlons-en-Champagne, Notre-Dame-en-Vaux. Her doctoral dissertation for the Sorbonne, under the direction of Louis Grodecki (1910–82), became an important monograph on St Remi at Reims. This was later followed by several books on Chartres Cathedral that stand out as classic studies. Aside from technical studies of the origin and development of the flying buttress, she was able to determine building sequences for a number of monuments by utilizing dendrochonological analysis of wooden beams. Her interest in Gothic architecture lead to a new series devoted to the Gothic monuments of France by Editions Picard. Her important contribution to Zodiaque publications included books on the ...

Article

Elisheva Revel-Neher

(b Budapest, 1927; d Paris, 2008).

Art historian and scholar of Jewish and Christian art, active in France. Known as the ‘grande dame’ of Jewish art, Sed-Rajna came to Paris in 1948. She became Director of the Hebraic Section of the Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) and then taught at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and at the Institut d’Etudes Juives of the Université Libre in Brussels. In 1976 she founded with Bezalel Narkiss the Jerusalem Index of Jewish Art and became President of the European Association for Jewish Studies. She published six pioneering books and numerous articles, scrutinizing the role played by the artistic heritage of the Jewish people.

In all her works the visual expression of the Jewish tradition was envisioned in the larger framework of the history of arts. Her immense knowledge of both texts and images led her to publish in ...